The NEA Foundation has announced that Enterprise State Community College Fine Arts Division Chair Dr. Ken Thomas is one of 45 public school educators who will receive the prestigious California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala next February.
“On behalf of the faculty and staff and ESCC, I want to congratulate Dr. Thomas on receiving this distinguished award,” ESCC President Matt Rodgers said. “There is no one more deserving of such recognition than Dr. Thomas. He is a class act and always represents the College in a positive way. Dr. Thomas continues to be an asset at ESCC and is beloved in our community by many different organizations. We are extremely proud of Dr. Thomas and his many accomplishments.”
The California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence awardees are nominated for their dedication to the profession, community engagement, professional development, attention to diversity, and advocacy for fellow educators. This year’s awardees represent 45 states.
“At a time when our country has faced tremendous challenges, we all are more aware than ever of public-school educators’ dedication, excellence and creativity. Never has it been more important to honor and celebrate them,” Sara A. Sneed, president and CEO of The NEA Foundation, said. “Each California Casualty awardee exemplifies a passion for their students’ learning, leadership among their peers, and the best in the teaching profession. We are grateful to California Casualty for its recognition and support and look forward to honoring the 2022 awardees at the Salute to Excellence in Education.”
“To say recent times have been tough on educators is an understatement,” Joe Volponi, president and CEO, California Casualty, said. “We are humbled by the sacrifice, compassion and perseverance of the California Casualty awardees. Without a doubt, their students, colleagues and communities will continue to benefit from their efforts, and it is a privilege to honor such excellence.”
Of the 45 state awardees nominated by their National Education Association state affiliate, five will be chosen as finalists for the top national award and will receive $10,000. The educator selected for the top award will be revealed at the NEA Foundation Salute to Excellence in Education Gala and receive $25,000. The Salute to Excellence in Education will also be livestreamed.
“I feel highly honored to be the recipient of one of the 2022 California Casualty Awards of Teaching Excellence,” Thomas said about the recognition. “Teaching is a calling, and I am thrilled that I answered. I am fortunate that I get to strive each day to make a difference in the lives of my students, colleagues, community and profession. Many teachers in my life were and continue to be examples of excellence in teaching. I thank them and dedicate this award to each of them.”
About the NEA Foundation
The NEA Foundation is a national philanthropic organization that invests in educators’ leadership, shared learning, and collaboration; supports partnerships and initiatives that strengthen public education and promotes improvements in public education policy and practice. Find us at neafoundation.org, Facebook and Twitter.